David Cameron’s timing was more than a little unfortunate when he claimed that an independent Scotland would “have to join the queue” to become a European Union member state, along with other countries such as Macedonia and Serbia (News, June 3).
Putting aside the issue that Scotland is already within the European Union and as such would not be an applicant country, Mr Cameron’s comments came shortly after German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her backing to known federalist Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission.
This was something Mr Cameron had warned Ms Merkel against, yet again clearly demonstrating the overinflated view the UK often has of its influence within the EU.
Mr Cameron‘s claim that he will fundamentally renegotiate the nature of the UK’s relationship with the European Union before putting this to people in a referendum by the end of 2017 has become even less likely, especially with a federalist at the helm and the agreement of 27 other member states required.
It is clearly more than a little ironic that Mr Cameron is lecturing Scotland on how long it will supposedly take to become an EU member state when the UK, under his administration, is clearly heading towards the EU exit.
Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh
Oxalis tetraphylla for good luck
I was interested to read (News, June 2) about reader Alaistair Murray finding a four-leaf clover plant beside a tram platform.
I’ve had a four-leaf clover plant growing in my garden for several years it’s called Oxalis tetraphylla. I believe a plant can be purchased online for about £5.
The leaves on my plant appear in August. I often give a clover to my friends for good luck often with surprising results. Perhaps this year I should send a four-leaf clover to both the Hearts and Hibs managers!
Ian McLaren, Bramdean Rise, Edinburgh
Parliament wrong to endorse evangelicals
Having read Ian Swanson’s coverage (News, June 2) of how our parliament building was used by The Evangelical Alliance Scotland (EAS), I cannot understand how EAS spokesman Kieran Turner claims that this was not a “launch” and, therefore, permitted under parliamentary regulations. He instead uses the weasel phrase “showcasing our manifesto”.
The group’s manifesto, What kind of nation?, is deeply political: it contains attacks on Secularism and, of course, the usual religious prescriptions as to the sort of personal relationships of which it approves.
This religious group must be free to voice its opinions, but is it really appropriate that our parliament should endorse them in this way?
To which other ideological sub-groups might it open its doors?
Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh
Separating meaning of nationalist language
Jack Fraser (Letters, June 2) takes exception to being called a separatist or nationalist. There is a long history of nationalist/separatist movements but the spin doctors of the SNP (and there are a lot) want to control the vocabulary of the debate, as all spin doctors would.
The ‘Yes’ campaign has tried very hard to show that many things will not change, so as not to frighten the punters.
Just think of all the accusations against anyone who rsaises the subject of currency, subsidies, EU etc.
The word “separation” emphasises this change, so it has to be avoided, despite it being an accurate term.
As for thinking the word nationalism has bad connotations, I agree.
Other examples of controlling the language are always to refer to the ‘No’ campaign and not ‘Better Together’, as the latter has a positive connotation, and to keep using terms like “our friends and neighbours” and “the Westminster Government” as though it has nothing to do with Scotland. There is also the attempt to associate the term ‘Scottishness’ with independence. This use of language is not accidental but is highly orchestrated.
Paul Beswick, Tollcross, Edinburgh
Post Office ramping up disabled access issue
As a wheelchair user who lives in EH8 I was pleased to discover that a new, wheelchair-accessible post office was opening on Clerk Street on May 30, replacing the non-accessible post office at 41 South Clerk Street.
However, upon approaching it I discovered that wheelchair access is gained by pressing a bell and requesting a ramp be put in place.
Surely in this day and age when new buildings are being constructed, thought ought to be given to independent access in the form of ramped/level access.
As things stand my nearest accessible post office is St James Centre. No wonder I do more transactions online.
Colin Jardine, Forbes Street, Edinburgh
Pouring cold water on plastic bag charge
I object strongly to being compelled to contribute to the over-inflated salaries of chief executives of charities I have no wish to support. Yet this is what the Scottish Parliament has achieved by passing legislation to force shops to charge for plastic bags and donate the proceeds to charity.
In order to revenge myself on the Green aspirations of these eco warriors and their “War Against Bags”, I shall be leaving my cold water tap running continuously and urge others to do likewise.
John Eoin Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh